Several couples have asked me to choose the location for their engagement session. This is totally fine, as I like working in different, sometimes new (to me), and even popular places. Engagement sessions are fun, and I like to challenge myself both with new places (finding awesome spots and light), and also with finding ways to get different results with the tried and true spots. Yet, there are ways you can go about choosing the best location for your engagement photos.
I get it – sometimes, figuring out where you’d like to shoot your engagement photos is an added stress. You may not know a bunch of locations, what would look good, or even where you are allowed to have your photos taken. I’m absolutely fine with choosing the best location for your engagement session for you (in my opinion), but as I’m usually first getting to know a couple at that point (and many times, meeting for the first time at the engagement session!), deciding on your location together as a couple can be the best option. The photos then become for personalized and unique to you.
I’ve compiled some tips that may help you decide on the perfect place for you both.
Think about the types of locations you like, in your every day lives. If you’d like to incorporate your hobbies into your session, the setting can be a place where you’d enjoy your hobby. I don’t want you to choose a known location just because it’s pretty. I don’t want you to feel awkward there, or uncomfortable.
What locations resonate with you and your style? Are you fun, free-spirited, outdoorsy? Are you bold and artistic? Maybe you’re homebodies (I’m totally down for an in-home engagement session!). Have your location reflect who you are as a couple, and maybe even each of you individually. I love when the photos I take reflect the personalities of the couple.
What are you going for as the end result? I, myself, like a lot of things. I love when couples are fun, goofy together, and not afraid to be themselves. However, I also love when they’re romantic, emotional, and loving. Any or all of these things are great! Some locations may work better than others with evoking some of these feelings.
What locations do you like where there’s a lot of variety? If you’re interested in going downtown, choose a few adjacent areas, unless we have the time to travel around a bit more. If you’re into the beach, check out some of my work to see how you can get plenty variety, even on the same beach. If you like historical sites, are there grounds and nooks and crannies to get more interesting photos?
Think about the times you’d be available to shoot (both time of day AND time of year). Popular tourist attractions will be BUSY during the day and peak times of the year. Also, think about how different locations you’re interested in may look later in the day – golden hour is glorious, but the time after..sunset..although beautiful, may not be for every location. Especially if you’re at a beach where the sun sets over the sand and you REALLY wanted the sunset showing over the ocean.
Find locations where you’re allowed to have a photo session. I haven’t encountered anywhere that doesn’t allow photo sessions YET, but I’m sure they’re out there! Also, make sure you secure any permits BEFORE finalizing your session with me. Some places that require permits take some time to give you the ok, and arriving to the location without a required permit is very risky (we can be told to leave right away, or the photos may have to be deleted), and unfair to the location. There usually is a good reason why the location requires a photo permit.
If you have any unconventional ideas, throw them my way! I love quirky and offbeat, I love out of the box, and I love working with people who have fun and different interests and styles. I’d love to brainstorm with you!